Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ: TRMB) and American Software (NASDAQ:AMSWA) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, profitabiliy, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Trimble Navigation and American Software’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Trimble Navigation 6.82% 12.28% 7.58%
American Software 13.76% 15.09% 10.65%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

90.5% of Trimble Navigation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.1% of American Software shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.4% of Trimble Navigation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.4% of American Software shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Trimble Navigation and American Software’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Trimble Navigation $2.39 billion 4.06 $410.40 million $0.64 59.94
American Software $106.29 million 2.80 $10.30 million $0.49 20.45

Trimble Navigation has higher revenue and earnings than American Software. American Software is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Trimble Navigation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Trimble Navigation and American Software, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Trimble Navigation 0 3 4 0 2.57
American Software 0 0 1 0 3.00

Trimble Navigation currently has a consensus price target of $36.50, indicating a potential downside of 4.85%. American Software has a consensus price target of $12.25, indicating a potential upside of 22.26%. Given American Software’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe American Software is more favorable than Trimble Navigation.

Dividends

American Software pays an annual dividend of $0.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. Trimble Navigation does not pay a dividend. American Software pays out 89.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Volatility and Risk

Trimble Navigation has a beta of 2.3, meaning that its share price is 130% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Software has a beta of 0.81, meaning that its share price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Trimble Navigation beats American Software on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Trimble Navigation

Trimble Inc., formerly Trimble Navigation Limited, provides technology solutions for professionals and field mobile workers. The Company operates through four segments: Engineering and Construction, Field Solutions, Mobile Solutions and Advanced Devices. The Engineering and Construction segment serves customers working in architecture, engineering, construction, geospatial and government. The Field Solutions segment provides solutions for the farming, government and consumer markets, with its products focused on agriculture and geographic information systems (GIS). The Mobile Solutions segment provides solutions that enable end users to monitor and manage their mobile work, mobile workers and mobile assets in the areas of transportation and logistics, and field services management. The Advanced Devices segment consists of the Embedded Technologies, Timing, Applanix, Military and Advanced Systems (MAS) and ThingMagic businesses.

About American Software

American Software, Inc. (American Software) develops, markets and supports a portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise management, supply chain and retail planning solutions to the marketplace. The Company operates through three business segments: Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Information Technology (IT) Consulting. The SCM segment consists of Logility, Inc. and its subsidiary, Demand Management, Inc. (DMI), both of which provide supply chain and retail planning solutions to trading partners. The ERP segment consist of American Software ERP, which provides business software for manufacturers and distributors, and New Generation Computing, Inc. (NGC), which provides industry-specific business software to both retailers and manufacturers in the apparel, footwear, sewn products and furniture industries. The IT Consulting segment consists of The Proven Method, Inc., an IT staffing and consulting services firm.

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